Reston Association board creates committee to hire new CEO

Reston Association CEO Hank Lynch is resigning (via Reston Association)

Reston Association’s Board of Directors began the process of creating a selection committee yesterday (Wednesday) to find a replacement for CEO Hank Lynch, who announced on Aug. 6 that he will resign next month.

The committee will screen applications, conduct initial interviews with candidates, and give recommendations on whom the board should hold final interviews with, according to a motion made during a special board meeting held online through Zoom.

“Hank, you will be greatly missed, but thank you for giving us this amazing group of people at Reston Association,” Director Tim Dowling said in reference to the association’s 101 employees.

RA member Irwin Flashman urged the board to make the search effort as transparent as possible, but the board later withdrew into executive session to privately discuss personnel and contractual manners.

RA hired Lynch as its CEO in December 2018. His last day in the position will be Sept. 3.

Multiple speakers at yesterday’s meeting wished him success in his next endeavor, and board president Caren Anton said the community was fortunate to have him, especially during a pandemic.

Much of the meeting, which lasted over two hours, consisted of the executive session, and the open portion largely involved the board debating aspects of the committee.

Points of disagreement included whether the search committee would involve the entire board, as many of the directors shared concerns that having every person of the nine-member board on the committee would be inefficient.

The board ultimately decided to only have four directors on the committee. How those people are chosen will be determined at a subsequent meeting to be held as soon as possible.

The final motion to create the committee came after directors presented a few other motions that failed to pass, including one to delay the issue because three board members — Tom Mulkerin, Sarah Selvaraj-D’Souza, and Aaron Webb — were absent.

“Are we really saying that we want to punt this topic?” Director Jennifer Jushchuk said, expressing concerns about the limited time to act before Lynch leaves.

The board finally settled on creating the committee now before establishing conditions for developing it later.

Directors also discussed whether all board members would have access to candidates’ applications and whether to use a search firm.

RA’s budget will likely guide the search process, though costs weren’t discussed during the open portion of the meeting. Based on a tax form prepared in January 2021, Lynch’s compensation for the 2019 calendar year was $188,393, along with $21,912 in other compensation.

Director John Mooney, who serves as the board’s vice president, said over 100 applications were considered in the last CEO search, which lasted nine months.

Mooney’s approved motion to create the search committee also called for the committee to establish search criteria. The application screening process will receive input from the board.

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